New Directions: Japanese Women Artists

November 14 - December 12, 2020

Mikiko Tomita_Stupa for life.JPG



I am interested in religious architectures and decorations such as churches, temples, shrines and mosques, which are the inspirations for my works. Also, the sources of my works are substances, organisms and plants which are comprised of catenary curves, logarithmic spirals and fractal structures, the forms of stars that are composed of the law of the universe, the atoms that have the same law as that of the universe, the forms of molecules that atoms make, the forms of organisms and plants that molecules make.

I feel the similar impression and find the similar beauty among religious spaces, cosmos and nature. I think that’s because humans have awe and respect for nature, feel a supernatural power and decorate religious spaces and ritual sites for worship. Since humans are also parts of nature, they sense the laws of nature and the universe in their DNA and decorate to embody them.

I also feel the laws of nature and the universe in my DNA and continue to create patterns and forms that spring from my heart and soul. I totally immerse myself in creating works just like a prayer of religious ritual.

Process of Making Works


First, I make shapes by hand forming with coils or slip casting or throwing with porcelain or semi-porcelain.  I change technique depending on the shape to make. 

When the shapes are completed, I conduct process of biscuit firing, then applying glazes and firing at 1230 degrees. I use the glaze that does not peel off the overglaze painting. I apply an overglaze on the fired glaze to add a lot. If the glaze is not compatible, the overglaze peels off. The overglaze is fired twice: first fire at 800 degrees and second fire at 750 degrees, then gold painting is fired at 700 degrees.

The overglaze is mixed with glue and water. The glue is a Japanese traditional material that is made from seaweed. About 1 millimeter is embossed to paint the pattern. This technique comes from Banko-yaki, one of well-known ceramic designs in Japan. I learned this technique when I lived in Mie Prefecture, Japan. 

Now I compose the overglazes by myself, as I want more colors for my works. After first firing I paint again and add more paintings on top of the first painting.

Finally, I draw very thin lines applying gold paint. 


Shading is created by the unevenness of the overglazing, which represents an interesting texture and a mysterious feel is given by thin lines of gold paint.


1972    Born in Osaka, Japan

1996    Kyoto City University of Arts

           The Encouragement Award of Reunion, Tomimoto Award-winner


Solo Exhibitions

1999    Gallery Maronie, Kyoto

2000    INAX Galleria Ceramica, Tokyo and Hokkaido

2001    INAX Tile Museum, Aichi

            Masuda Studio, Tokyo

2002    Kobo IKUKO, Okayama

2013    YOU-Yuusya Gallery, Aichi (’07, ’12)

2015    ART NAGOYA 2015, YOU-Yuusya Gallery, Aichi

2017    Meguro Gallery, Mie (’03, ’06, ’09, ’11, ’14)

            SILVER SHELL, Tokyo (’07, ’11, ’13, ’15)

2019    YOU-Yuusya Gallery SAPPORO, Hokkaido


Group Exhibitions

2003    Flowers of Contemporary Ceramic Art -Focusing on Ceramists of Western Japan / Ibaraki Ceramic Art Museum, Ibaraki

2008    Saint Sex Spirit - Seducing Crafts - / Takashimaya Shinjuku Store, Tokyo

2009    Treasure to the Future / Takashimaya Nihombashi, Shinjuku, Osaka and Kyoto

             The Power of Decoration, The Viewpoint on Contemporary Ceramics / Craft Gallery, The National Museum of Modern Art,                  Tokyo

2010    The 5th Paramita Museum Ceramic Art Grand Prize Exhibition / Paramita Museum, Mie

            Touch Fire: Contemporary Japanese Ceramics by Women Artists / Smith College Museum, USA


2016    SOFA CHICAGO / Smith College Museum, USA

2017    The Splendid Ceramics - The Expression of Seven Women Artists / Ginza WAKO, Tokyo

            Nitten / The National Art Center, Tokyo



Tokoname City, Aichi Prefecture

Ishikawa Prefectural Kutani Ceramics Technical Research Center


Art Print Japan’s Art Shop in Tokyo International Forum

Smith College Museum, USA